Michael Anderson (30 January 1920 – 25 April 2018)
Almost reaching the age of One Hundred, Anderson had a long and varied career starting in the 1930s. Some of his many TV and Film credits include Logan’s Run, The Dam Busters, Around The World In 80 Days, and The Martian Chronicles.
Arthur B Rubinstein (March 31, 1938 – April 23, 2018)
Another composer and another non-household name deserving of recognition, Rubenstein worked on the scores for works including WarGames, Blue Thunder, the Stakeout series, The Simpsons, and Tiny Toon Adventures.
Verne Troyer (January 1, 1969 – April 21, 2018)
Known to most as Mini-Me from the Austin Powers series, Troyer performed in a variety of other shows and movies including Jingle All The Way, Men In Black, Fear And Loathing In las Vegas and as a regular guest on popular British game show Celebrity Juice.
Bruno Sammartino (October 6, 1935 – April 18, 2018)
Every year brings a number of deaths in the Wrestling world, but few would have the impact of the loss of Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino. Sammartino set a world record for bench pressing in the 1950s and holds the record for both longest single WWE title reign and longest time as champion at eleven YEARS. One suspects that these records will never be topped, as much as Brock Lesnar would love to try.
Pamela Gidley (June 11, 1965 – April 16, 2018)
Gidley is most widely known as the ill-fated Teresa Banks in Fire Walk With Me, but also starred in TV shows Angel Street, Strange Luck, The Pretender, and movies including Thrashin’, and The Little Vampire.
Harry Anderson (October 14, 1952 – April 16, 2018)
Harry Anderson was a recognisable face on stage as a comedian and magician and on the big and small screen as an all round performer – you’ll known him from Cheers, SNL, IT, Night Court, and Dave’s World.
R Lee Ermey (March 24, 1944 – April 15, 2018)
Ermy had one of the most enduring screen voices and presences no doubt enabled by his years as a marine and drill instructor, and popularized by appearances in Full Metal Jacket, Toy Story Series, Apocalypse Now, Body Snatchers, Starship Troopers, Willard, and The Simpsons.
Milos Forman (18 February 1932 – 13 April 2018)
One of the most successful directors from Europe who transitioned to Hollywood, Forman’s films received over 30 Oscar nominations and almost twenty wins including two wins for Best Director. He is known for films including One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus, Man On The Moon, and The People Versus Larry Flynt.
Isao Takahata (October 29, 1935 – April 5, 2018)
One of the most famous directors of animated work whose name isn’t Hayao Miyazaki, Takahata formed Studio Ghibli with Miyazaki and worked on most of the studio’s earliest hits. He directed many classics including Grave Of The Fireflies, Pom Poko, Only Yesterday, and The Tale Of Princess Kaguya.
Eric Bristow MBE (25 April 1957 – 5 April 2018)
Bristow was one of the most famous Darts players in the world and one of the first to truly popularize the sport. A five time World Champion along with many other accomplishments, Bristow also worked as a TV pundit for the sport and appeared on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
Joe Jackson (July 26, 1928 – June 27, 2018)
Patriarch of The Jackson Family, it is fairly safe to say that without Joe there would be no Jackson Five, no Bad, no Thriller, no Rhythm Nation. Strict with his children, his training and managing of them led to some of the greatest music the world has ever heard.
Vinnie Paul (March 11, 1964 – June 22, 2018)
The older brother of Dimebag Darrell who he founded Pantera with, Paul’s drums set the tone for the groove metal band as well as their later collaboration Damageplan.
Koko (July 4, 1971 – June 19, 2018)
Arguably the most famous Gorilla not named Kong, Koko was famous for her relationships with humans, cats, and her seemingly amazing ability to learn, understand, and use sign language. Not only could Koko respond accurately to questions using sign language, she could ask her own, hold conversations, train other gorillas in its usage, and every so often merge signs to deceive or make jokes as well as creatively making up her own combinations of signs to describe objects or feelings she had not been taught the signs for. The star of many viral videos and documentaries, Koko was also known for caring for and loving cats.
Vader (May 14, 1955 – June 18, 2018)
The Wrestling world suffered another major loss this year, one I was much more familiar with. Vader was one of the biggest and best super heavyweight wrestlers in the world. As with most wrestlers he worked in multiple promotions around the world, including WCW, TNA, and WWE, his monster style no barrier to his aerial stunts and speed.
Leslie Grantham (30 April 1947 – 15 June 2018)
I’m conflicted in talking about Grantham, given his shady past – he served ten years in prison for murder – and the man he killed (Felix Reese) likely never gets spoken of. Grantham was a mainstay on British Television thanks to his role as Dirty Den on Eastenders, but also appeared in Doctor Who, Cleudo, and Urban Gothic.
Eunace Gayson (17 March 1928 – 8 June 2018)
The first Bond girl, appearing in the first two movies in the series as Sylvia Trench, Gayson’s career started in the 40s, preferring to work on Stage but nevertheless also appearing in Carry On Admiral and The Revenge Of Frankenstein.
Nikolai Volkoff (October 14, 1947 – July 29, 2018)
Yet another major Wrestling loss, Volkoff was known for partnering/feuding with the likes of Sgt. Slaughter, Million Dollar Man, and The Iron Sheik, becoming one of the most popular villains of the 80s and 90s, winning the Tag Belt at the first Wrestlemania.